6 Figure Creative Icon

How To Be Consistently Creative So You Can Do What You Love For The Rest Of Your Life | With Todd Henry

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Ever had an off day where you just didn't feel creative? What about an off week, or an off month? Where things can get dangerous is when our income depends on us being creative on-demand, but we're just…off.
The great thing is that there are certain actions we can take to stay consistently and brilliantly creative for a long, long time.
This week we interviewed Toddy Henry, author of the best-selling book “The Accidental Creative: How To Be Brilliant At A Moment's Notice”. We discussed how creatives can create consistency in their work so that they're able to consistently put out their best work.
In this episode you’ll discover:
  • The three most important things in your life as a creative entrepreneur
  • Taking a step back to think
  • Where to look for inspiration
  • Forming healthy habits
  • Reacting vs. thinking
  • Setting (and respecting) boundaries
  • Being aware of our shortcomings

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[00:00:00] Welcome Back to another episode of the six figure creative podcast. I am your host Brian Hood. I'm here with my big bald. Beautiful co-host Christopher J. Graham. How are you doing today, buddy?

I'm great, man. I'm really excited about this amazing individual that we are hanging out with.

Yeah. So today on the, on the podcast, we have a special guest, a New York times bestselling author. Todd Henry's on the show today. Todd, thank you for coming on the show.

Oh, it's great to be on the show. And I do want to just point out, not New York times. Best-selling sorry. I wish I was. I have not. I've been introduced that way before in public at like, And then there's always a lump while when I have to go out on stage and say, not New York times best-selling but the irony is because of the way that those lists are compiled.

It's rigged, man. I know it's rigged.

well, I'm sure we're going to talk about, like, how you, how do you measure effectiveness? How do you measure your work at some point? What's interesting is, you know, many of my books have sold many more copies and a lot of New York times bestseller list, but it's all about like how many you sell within a very short period of time.

That's how those lists are compiled. And so it's just interesting. Way more interested in the long game [00:01:00] impact of books, then the, your one week impact and then see the long tail drop off. So, anyway, I just want, sorry to correct you right out of the gate,

this is, this is, fantastic because all the research for this episode is from a new research assistant. So this is going to be a fun. One is like how much more did you get wrong? Two research assistant throwing you under the bus. I take full, I take full responsibility for anything, by the way that is off today.

It's not his, not his fault. It's my

fault for not double checking some of these things.

I mean, I think, cause that really raises an interesting point for given your audience, especially, you know, how do you measure your effectiveness as a creative


and let me just sort of like go into that, because I think this isn't a fascinating topic. I've had a lot of friends that are, that want to be New York times bestselling author. And it is funny. You brought up a good point. If you want to measure your effectiveness. New York times bestselling author is strange because if for one minute you're a best-selling author and for the rest of your life, you get to say New York times selling author, even though, like you said, you've sold way more books and books that have been on the New York times bestseller list.

But that one little metric [00:02:00] opens up a lot of doors and that's fastened.

I was just say we have that same thing in the audio industry called the Grammy award, winning a Grammy nominated artist or producer. And it's the same exact thing is kind of a rig system.

Yeah, for sure. And, and, you know, listen, I would love if a book of mine hit that list. That would be amazing. the reason that I don't really look at lists as the main metric is that list. Are representative of a point in time, right? And if you're trying to build a career, whether you're designing or you're making music or you're writing books or whatever it is you're doing, if you're trying to build a career on a ward is an interesting metric at one point in time.

But the all creative industries are a, what have you done for me lately on the street? And I know a lot of people who have had New York times bestselling books and that's their last. Because it sold really well for a couple of weeks and then died off. Maybe it was like the book of the time or something.

I'm way more interested in measuring impact over time. How many lives am I transforming? How many habits in my transforming, you know, of [00:03:00] creative pros to the work that I'm doing, how many minds am I changing? You know, that for me is a far more interesting metric than just hitting a list one time, because there's also this sort of thing of like, you hit a list and then it's kinda like, okay, now, now what do I do?

Right? Like if that's your goal, you're playing that finite game is James Carse would call it right? The finite game of hitting a list versus the infinite game of how do I get more people involved with my work over time? Because as I get more people involved with my work, the game goes on. That I think for creative pros is a far more interesting way to look at life and work.

Whether, again, whether you're designing, writing, making music, whatever it is, you have to have a game you're playing against yourself. That's not measured by how other people rate.

Well, I said, I said in the intro that your New York times bestselling author, and that was a dead wrong fact, but the truth of the matter is you are a, a legitimate bonafide author. You've put up five books. You have traveled across the world doing talks in front of thousands, or I guess 10,000 plus people at a time doing live talks.

You have your own podcast. And so much more. And I think a lot of our [00:04:00] audience is struggling with how do you stay creative? How do you put out hit after hit, after hit? How do you stay in it and what you call the infinite game? Because it's not about getting on a list. It's not about putting that one time.

The one hit wonder, you know, bring it back to the music world. It's about that constant, consistent creativity and staying in the game long enough so that we can hit our, have our next hit. How do you stay creative for so long? Cause he's been in this game for 15 plus years now.

Yeah. Yeah. And I've been, while I've been leading teams and doing this work for a couple of decades, right. Over a couple of decades. And you know, the, the excellent credit podcasts started in 2005. And the funny thing is I thought I was really late to the podcasting game in 2005, which is hilarious to look at now.

But you know, the, the, the thing is, and this is really was what formed the basis for the podcast originally, and also for the first book, the accidental creative, if you want to be brilliant at a moment's notice, if you want to continue to produce prolific. Work over time. You want it to be brilliant.

You don't have to. In other words, you want to be good and you want to remain healthy at the same time. So prolific [00:05:00] brilliant and healthy. You have to begin far upstream from the moment you need a brilliant idea. And the way you do that is by building practices into your life to sustain your creative ambition.

You, a lot of people, especially young creative pros. I encounter them all the time. I'm almost 50 now. So. Yeah, anybody like under 45 is young to me now that's kind of like when you get to 50, it's like anybody under 45, all you youngsters. But you know, a lot of the young creative pros are, you know, sustained on sheer ambition and energy and red bull, you know, for weeks or months at a time, the problem is.

When you use an abuse, your creative process treat it like a spigot, you turn it on, it comes out. It's great. Um, One day you're going to turn on the spigot and find out that there's nothing there. You, you are inevitably everyone is going to hit the wall. It's a law of human nature. If you're not caring for the machine, the machine is going to break down over time.

And so some of the ways we care for the machine. Having time set aside for absorbing inspiring stimulus. You'll not just treating it haphazardly, not just, you know, scrolling Instagram, not just, you know, going on [00:06:00] Tik TOK and looking at whatever is funny and, and clever and relevant at the time, but actually dedicating time in your life.

You're absorbing stimulus that keeps you inspired, engaged, thinking about the world in new ways.

Can you give some examples of that creative stimulus for you at least, or, or what you've seen? That's been an effective form of creative stimulus.

Yeah. I mean, I think it varies depending on your industry, right? It, depending on what your particular curiosities are. I mean, I read everything from particle physics books to history, books, to books about my industry, about my craft books, about writing. If you saw the stack of books sitting next to my office chair right now, I mean, it's a very incredibly varied stack of books that I'm going through, by the way.

That's the other thing, I, I very rarely just read one book all the way through. I've always got like four or five I'm reading at any given time. So one of

Oh, thank God. I'm not weird.

yeah, one of them is a citizen soldiers, which is about it's a history book about world war II. One of them right now is what called the minion.

That's like this thick, which is about basically. History from a couple hundred BC all the way through the modern time as shaped by faith and [00:07:00] religion in the Western world specifically, which is a really interesting um, dynamic. You know, I mean, I mentioned uh, James Carse a little bit ago, finite and infinite games, the, the little tiny little book that he wrote, the book of philosophy that Simon Sinek.

His ideas into a book called the infinite game recently, but the original sort of the original source for that was a book I read a handful of years ago. And the thing is like, when I'm out doing interviews and I'm talking to people when I'm writing and I just finished a new book that comes out this fall, you know, as I'm writing, like these things just pop out of my brain because I've been filling my well for so long, you know, and thinking about these ideas that they're just at the ready when I need an illustration and example.

So if you're a designer. for example, and you're working on a project you know, if you've been filling your mind with valuable stimulus from other people in your industry who are doing interesting work you're reading about their methodology, their thought process uh, or even not something in your industry.

I have a friend who was a creative director who had. Ben the creative director, we used to work together, create a director for some of the biggest musical tours in the world put together uh, some of the [00:08:00] biggest television productions in the world. And he got all of this inspiration from reading fiction.

You know, he never even looked at other people's work. He just read fiction and use that as the basis for his creative inspiration, but he had a discipline of going someplace to find inspiration regularly. And that's all we need to do. So. Identify a handful of topics that interest you that you're curious about and just begin reading, absorbing, experiencing stimulus in those areas.

So if you want to, you know, Steve jobs once said, creativity is just connecting things. If you want dots to connect, you need to put dots in your head to be able to connect. So that's really the basis there. You know, other couple of other examples of practices you know, we're really good at managing our time and we're terrible at managing our energy.

So we stack meeting after meeting after expectation, after expectation. And we get to the end of the day, we got nothing left to give because we're not managing our energy effectively. We're terrible at saying no. We think if we physically have the time available that we should say yes to something, but that's not the way the creative process works.

We need [00:09:00] space. Creativity is not efficient, but it doesn't waste anything. We need space, which means we need to get really good at saying, no, we need to be really good at pruning. Sometimes good things we need to say no to good things so that we can accept better things. You know, we can you know, incorporate better things into our life.

So anyway, those are just a couple of areas. Um, there are five of them I wrote about in the accidental creative, but just a couple of areas that we need to build practices. And in order to stay prolific, brilliant and healthy

A little bit about you, you mentioned earlier in that, in that wonderful. Long spiel. I just there's so much, I want to talk about, we don't have enough time, unfortunately, but if you talk about the creative environment, creative environment is something that I I've seen. You talk a lot about. You've written about it and it's something I think that our audience likely doesn't do a good enough job with.

And so I learned that you have a, you have a set of candles that you with different smells that you light up when you're trying to get into. Uh, You know, a creative mindset, you have certain music you play like what's, what are some things you do? And some things that you've seen done to create that creative environment that, that spurs creativity.

And so.

Yeah. So you, humans [00:10:00] are creatures of habit. And the signals we send to our brain through ritual often connect us deeply to time and place. It creates almost a sacred space for us to do our work. And so for me, I mean, you mentioned a couple of mine when I go into what Cal Newport calls, deep work, meaning I'm deeply immersed in here.

And now in the moment I'm not being distracted. I'm not trying to do a bunch of different things. I'm just focused on writing a book, for example. Um, That's a good example cause I have some specific rituals about right. When I'm writing for my book, I have a candle that light right here. Um, It's on my desk and I light it only when I'm writing.

That's the only time I write it. I have a specific soundtrack. I listened to a deep meditation experience by ambient music therapy. I've been listening to it since I started writing the accidental creative in 2009. It's the only thing I listened to when I'm writing it's all in the background and I start it when it's matter of fact, Google assistant, which I'm hoping it won't wake up.

It didn't good, uh, on my desk. And I have a command that I say, I'm, [00:11:00] I'm doing deep work. And when I say that it lowers the lights in my office, it doesn't light my candle because it can't do that, but it starts playing that soundtrack. And it just puts me in that focused mode. And my, my brain automatically, I sort of settle into, okay, this is what I'm doing for this period of time. The more we ritualize our what's important to us in our lives. The more consistent our results are going to be. If we treat the important things in our life, we treat them by chance, if we basically just do them, when we feel like it, they're not going to have. So we need to build rituals around the things that matter in my book, louder than words, I wrote about the importance of having a list.

I call the dailies. The dailies are a set of daily practices that you implement. And I have eight of them that I do every single day. And I have a checklist and every single day, even though by now, I've been doing them for years. I could do them by rote. I check them off the list because that's part of my ritual, right?

So every single day I look at the end of my day, I look back and I say, did I do all of my dailies? I did fantastic. And that's a way [00:12:00] that I keep myself moving forward. You have to decide what those things are. For some of you, it could be, I create a piece of content every day for some of you, it could be, I reach out and do business development every day.

For some of you, it could be, I don't know. I write a song every day. I don't know what it is depending on who's in the audience right now. But but you need to have a set of dailies that you do to keep you moving forward, to keep you moving toward your ambitious.

I'm curious, Todd, so I'm loving this conversation and I know Einstein famously used to play the violin as he was, you know, working on physics and that sort of combination of stimuli or that creative outlet or w or whatever, like there is something magical about. Being able to set yourself up to have that perfect vibe, that perfect creative environment. And for me, like, that's totally me. I got to have a guitar in my hands or, and I know hopefully a researcher did a good job, but I am a fellow mandolin player like yourself

but mine hanging right over there as a matter of

nice man. Is that part of your process?

Uh, Not the main so much, but I do have a Dan electro [00:13:00] 66 hanging right in front of me right now. And I will get up and go pick that up and start noodling on it. If I, or you can see the piano behind me, I'll start playing. You know, when I'm in the midst of just thinking about something, it helps, right.

To have something in your hands you can walk around. I mean, other people might be taking a walk for some people might be knitting or crocheting. There's actually a principle called the breakout principle. A book was written by uh, Herbert Benson. And I can't remember the other person's name two researchers who discovered that when you deeply immerse yourself in the project, For a period of time, do that deep work, right?

And you reach an impasse. Don't try to push through the impasse instead, go do something mindless. And what they encourage people to do is like knitting, walking, something where your executive brain is going to be occupied by doing this other thing. And it lets your subconscious part of your brain continue to work.

And what they discovered is often when you come back and re-engage the work, you have a brand new idea in your head. And that's, I think what Einstein in that example was maybe [00:14:00] inadvertently. Playing out, literally, um playing out is that, you know, he was. Allowing his executive brain to do something.

Cause he probably had to concentrate a little bit on playing the violin and it disengaged his executive brain from the problem. But his brain continued to work as mine, continue to work in the background on what he was just obsessed with because that's what your mind does. It looks for patterns and that's probably why he engaged in that behavior because he found that to be really effective.

there are stories about Thomas Edison. Going to sleep sitting up in a chair with two ball-bearings in his hand. Right. And when right when you would hit that point of going to sleep, the ball-bearings have fall out of his hands and make a noise on the floor that would wake him up.

And that was the state in which he found himself to be of heightened creativity. You, so everybody kind of finds their own trick, their own way of doing it. For me, it's taken the midday walk. That's almost always a part of my ritual is taking a mid day. Uh, When it's warm outside, because I do my work in the morning, I take a midday walk.

I come back [00:15:00] and I'm completely refreshed and re-energized in the afternoon. you can do whatever you want to do, but you should have something like that, the way to break away from the pressures of the work. And often when you come back and re-engage, it you'll find that you've, you've got that fresh insight you were looking at.

That's so cool. I, I personally have been doing a lot of in my own life. something called , it's a type of yoga, yoga nidra. That's similar to this Thomas Thomas Edison idea. It's trying to balance the spot right in between awake and asleep. And it's in the, I found like just a well of creativity in there, but also it's been really good just from a health perspective.

I feel like a more whole person. When I come out of spending some time meditating

with yoga

nidra. So

You know, meditation is something that has really become such an important part of many people's lives. I think part of it is we don't really spend a lot of time thinking compared to past generations. Past generations had a lot of time to think. You know, they were out doing farm [00:16:00] work. They were doing manual labor.

That was very repetitive. I mean, for the most part, right? Like they had a lot of time to just spend with their thoughts. We don't have a lot of time to spend with our thoughts because so distractable. And so ju we don't know what we think. Like, you'll, you have no idea what ideas are bouncing around in your head.

You have no idea what you think, because often you're just reacting. You're not really taking time to stop and the synthesize and the process. And so I think what you're describing. That sense of wellness that you have is probably a sense of harmony with your own thoughts and beliefs, because you have actually taken the time to allow your thoughts to distill into something that looks like patterns.

And I find the same thing when I meditate. It's like, oh, I didn't realize I felt or thought that way because I was so distracted,


Well, and it's an interesting time for this conversation because two years in a COVID, a lot of people have had a lot of time to think, and sometimes that's been good and sometimes it's gotten messy, you know, for me when, when COVID hit and I started [00:17:00] really. I figured out that what you preach this idea of be brilliant, prolific, and healthy that I had missed that last one.

And, you know, start started to struggle and, you know, had to enter into a season of healing. And I just, I love that you are camping out at this intersection here of like, let's be creative. Let's do amazing work, but let's not sacrifice ourselves at the alter of genius.



Yeah. There are more, more important things in life than your creative output. life has a portfolio of passions. It's not one thing. Um, If you had a financial portfolio that was one stock, every financial advisor would tell you, you are insane for doing that. And the same goes for your life and your passion.

Do you need a portfolio of passions you're investing in and some of those are going to be your job. But some of them need to be outside of your job. They need to be outside of your work. You know, you sit at the center of everything you do. And so what is in your portfolio of passions and you just like with money, we think about our time and we [00:18:00] should think about our time in terms of some of it is there to be spent, which could be our job.

Right. Some of it's there to be invested. So are you investing your time in things that might reap a dividend 2, 3, 5, 10 years down the road, whether that's skill development you investing in equity, you have your pod test called the six-figure creative, right? Like so many creative pros settle for being freelancers.

You pay me for my time. But they're not investing in. Endeavors where they're going to have some equity where they're gonna have some ownership, you know, and often that means I'm going to donate my time for a while. I mean, invest it for a while. So that on the other end of it, I can have an ownership stake in something that's going to appreciate and value.

We do that with our money, but we don't do that with our time. Instead, we just collect time for money and that is a great way to work until you're 80 years old.

Yeah, man. I wish I, that, that to me is an entire episode of a podcast right there, because there's so much to talk about within that, but we've got to respectful [00:19:00] of your time uh, here, Todd. Cause I know you've got other things you go to straight after this cause you authors, man, you guys do these back-to-back interviews.

It's it's the worst thing for podcasts or this is great for y'all. Um, so given what you know about our audience creatives, freelancers, what would be the book to start with? If people are not familiar with, with your writings, what would be the one you would send people to

If, you want to focus on your own creative process, I'd say the accidental creative is a great place to start. That was my first book. And that's the one really that is targeted at how to stay prolific brilliant and healthy. If you lead other people, hurting tigers is my book about what creative people really need from their manager and how to give it to them more consistently.

Um, So if you're in an organizational environment, maybe herding tigers, but I would probably start with the accidental creative.

And that's the name of your podcast as well? Right?

It is the accidental creative serving up weekly tips since 2005.

Yeah. So if you want an idea of what a real podcast sounds like, go check out the accidental creative podcast on anywhere. Wherever you listen to this podcast, you can go find that podcast. So, Todd, thank you so much for calling the podcast today. And uh, just again, [00:20:00] it's been great having you on here, man.

Yeah. Thank you guys. And thanks for the great work.

So that is it for our interview with Todd Henry. Chris, what did you think?

Yeah, I loved it, man. Like, I, it was strange because I kept wanting to open up to him about like how I failed to balance my own, be brilliant, prolific and healthy at the same time. But I loved sort of his angle that when he talked about. The long game, not just going after what I just want to like, you know, get the accolade and then my mom will respect me and then I can go on my creative career.

There's a quote from a guy named Tom Sachs. Who's this like, sort of really on guard artist slash filmmaker. And he says, when it comes to creatives, that the reward for good work is more work. And I think a lot of people, they look at the reward for good work is. It's a Grammy. It's an Emmy. It's a Tony.

Yeah, sure. Cool. Very cool stuff. But I think ultimately for creatives, the reason that you're still listening to this podcast is that you like us [00:21:00] believe that the reward for doing great creative work is that you get to do cooler, more creative work. And it's about that sort of cycle of figuring out how to just make the next awesome.

Yeah, that's interesting. Cause I, I had a pre-interview conversation with a potential guest on the podcast yesterday. He's actually from our community and he had his first six figure year recently.

and the cool thing about his career is that he's not working with any huge artists. He doesn't, as far as I know, at least in our conversation didn't have any major accolades or major awards or any main artists that he's worked with.

He's just gotten to work with a lot of cool artists that most people have never heard of because he's, he is okay with playing what we refer to in this, this uh, interview a couple of times, is that an infinite game? This, this is an infinite game. There is no end to it. There is no real end goal to it is it is just how long can we keep playing this wonderful infinite game?

And in creativity, you, you brought up just the mental health. What was it? What was the three things that he talked about in his book? That was

Be prolific, be brilliant and be healthy.

Okay. What does prolific mean? Cause I don't, honestly don't even think I know what that word

So prolific means that you [00:22:00] make a lot of stuff all the time.

Okay. Yeah. So just consistently putting stuff out on.

So like if you've got like 180 podcasts episodes out there in the world, some might call that prolific.

We've got 190. This is episode one 90, Chris.

I know I was just trying to make, it's trying to make you feel good about yourself.

okay. Yes. Yeah. And that was one of the things I wanted to talk to him about. We didn't, I mean, this is the one thing I, I, I, I wish authors just had more than 30 minutes for interviews, but, but you know what, they're prolific. So they're going to put out smaller, tons of smaller pieces of content because they, that was one thing that authors are good at.

And he's great at is knowing when to say no or when to have those boundaries in place. So just these, when you see authors doing 30 minute interviews honestly. I struggled listening to other podcasts when authors come on because the interviews are so short, but there's still so much to be gained from these shorter interviews.

And they're so good at setting these boundaries in place, but. I wanted to ask them about balancing that profession is a mindset with just putting out low quality work because authors like him or other creatives, like, like Lisa Congdon, who was on the show a couple of weeks ago where they have [00:23:00] to put out a good, a lot of stuff, but it has to be that high quality.

So how do you, like, we should probably talk about this just a little bit. Cause there's one of the things I wanted to talk to Todd about is like, how do we make that balance between it's good enough to put out into the. But it's not perfect. And, and I think this is an area of a lot of creative struggle when it comes to being prolific is they want everything to be perfectly put out in the world.

And that is just not even a possibility. If you are truly trying to be prolific,

oh boy, that is a whole episode in itself. So I've got a couple thoughts on that. I think that there is let's coin the term that there is a certain tolerance for discomfort that you have to build up as a creative, you have to be okay, operating in the leg. IE, this is kind of scary. I'm putting this thing out and I don't know what I'm doing and you know, it's funny.

Cause sometimes that's a different medium.

That was my mandolin.

What does it, what did he say?[00:24:00]

My man, what did my mandolin say?

Yeah, you kicked it and it screamed at you and said something

He said, uh

that gag.

yet dead, dead GAD, first sport. But man, so this idea of balancing how prolific you are and guys real talk here real time. I know a lot of creatives. I have been very close friends with a lot of creatives. I don't really feel like I am able to have like really good conversations with somebody unless they're a fellow creative.

But what I notice is that talent and a lack of health are often correlated and it has been so sad for me, as I know for a lot of kids. Did you go about your day? You make friends with cool people that are making awesome art. And it turns out that most of the time, they're not super healthy, that they're making great art.

They're getting a lot of attention for it, but behind closed doors, they're kind of a wreck and I'm no [00:25:00] exception to that at all. Like not even close.

I think that it's a difficult balance to strike, because if you're not healthy, being prolific is pretty easy. If you are healthy, being prolific is a little bit more challenging because you're being prolific.

You're making great creative art out of a desire to make great creative art, not to distract yourself from the shitstorm that is your life. And so this, this goal that he has. The brilliant be prolific and be healthy is a really challenging balancing act. I feel like that I see, have seen so many creatives fail at, you've seen so many people that were you're like, I don't know how I feel about going on this road, but bill Cosby comes to mind.

Do tell that's a good, that's a wonderfully. Rising topic. Go ahead, Chris. Go there.

it is so like, and I feel like maybe I have a little bit of room to talk on this just because of my own. History on the flip side of this coin as a survivor. But when you look at bill Cosby, is he brilliant? Yes. Was he prolific? Oh [00:26:00] yes. Was he healthy? And, and bill Cosby is what that looks like.

There are so many Harvey Weinstein. Brilliant. Yep. Prolific. Yup. Healthy.

I'm fascinated by the magnetic. Attraction between being brilliant and prolific and being unhealthy. What is going on there? Clearly, there's more there than we understand psychologically creatively historically, and I love that Dan is kind of camping out there of talking about how do we be brilliant?

How do we be proud of our work? How do we make tons and tons of it without frying? that's one of the reasons I was so excited to have Todd on the show today is that he is cutting out. In this conversation around talent and health.

He wrote the book on it like this,


what else can you say there? There's actually one quote. I really wanted to get to this quote so bad, but we just ran out of time. But I think we, you and I can do a pretty good job of [00:27:00] breaking down this quote. So there's a famous quote saying when you love what you do, you'll never work at Daniella.

And that it's such a cheesy quote and I there's some truth to it. I do love value. I feel that a lot of times, but this is what, this is what Todd Henry said to that quote. He said his response was when you love what you do, you'll suffer through whatever it takes to practice your craft and achieve your goals, but that doesn't fit on a bumper sticker.

So it really fits hand in hand with, it takes more than passion because like, If it's just passionate, it's like, well, if you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life passion. But if you, if you go beyond that and think it's actually takes more than passion, then, then Todd's quote is really, really appropriate.

Because it forces you to do the hard things. Getting your mental health under control is incredibly difficult. For most creatives, it takes self-awareness, which is difficult enough. It takes facing really hard truths, which is even more difficult. It takes. Admitting that you're not good enough in your current state, which is an ego hit that most creatives cannot sustain.

And then it forces you to seek outside help, which if someone like you and [00:28:00] I, which were Enneagram eights, where we went like control. putting ourselves in someone else's hand like a therapist or someone that's like helping us through something is, is awful thought. So there's a lot of people like us.

We're not everyone's Instagram and or people that want control over everything. But a lot of people like us where they do not want to go to someone else for help. So you, and we put all these things together. It's incredibly difficult to, to get the creative, mental health stuff under control. And and I know you've gone through the You're saying yourself, Chris. I'm preaching to the choir here, but for anyone in our audience right now, just to go back to what Todd said again, he says, when you love what you do, you will suffer through whatever it takes to practice your craft and achieve your goals. That doesn't mean you just go into your hole and work on your business all day, every day, because that's what you're passionate about.

That's what you love. That's not what he's saying. He's saying you will do whatever it takes so that you can practice your craft and be prolific and be creative and be brilliant and be mentally healthy. All at the same time, which takes a lot of.

It does. And what hurts there is you'll do whatever it takes often means that [00:29:00] you'll put your health. Second guys. I do this all the time, all the time, especially lately, I've had so many exciting things happening and so many things that I've wanted to work on on this YouTube video that I put out the other day that I posted in.

In our Facebook group at the activism work, I put like a hundred hours and editing that, like, it was like, my Opus was so excited

It's a great video. It's also the antithesis of being prolific. Cause you can't, you cannot put a hundred hour videos out all the time that doesn't work.

It's true. And I think this is such a longer conversation when, you know, when it comes to putting health first that I think that there is a component too, of making brilliant work as easy as possible. As frictionless as possible can create a prolific lifestyle where you're making stuff constantly.

And that's really where I'm at right now. I have been spending an ungodly amount of time building the perfect, audio video rig,

Yeah. It's been anyone listening right now or watching on YouTube right [00:30:00] now, which is funny because Chris has just. Pale white dot on the screen with a black background. So it's like all this video work for, for what? Right now, Chris?

Oh, come on. I'm getting there.

Okay. But I'm just saying like, it's been an incredibly long, arduous, frustrating process as a podcast.

Co-host when we come on, you've changed something significant you're set up and then we spend 15 to 20 minutes of our podcast, time troubleshooting. Whatever's gone wrong.

Sorry about that, Brian.

one day you will pick a thing like I have and just use the same thing every time, all time. But until that day comes, I'm just, this is just going to be part of our creative process, which is called going to that unhealthy place of Instagram five, where we're just like troubleshooting being the R furrowed brows come up and we hate everything.

but continue on your, you were talking about that

There's a purpose to that. And the purpose is to figure out a way to make creating easy. That's it? How do you. The creation of beautiful, brilliant work easy. And for me, like that's been trying to find a way to [00:31:00] be able to come into my office, sit down, video lights, turn on, camera lights, turn on.

I push one button and I can start recording video. And then that video goes to my editor and that editor edits. And then I get, you know, an editorial process where I can look at it and give feedback, but removing that friction where there's no room for me to be like, I don't know. I don't know if people will think I'm cool.

And enough, if I don't like when I start to second, guess myself, when that health starts to get in the way, like I need a crutch, I need to be able to have a system that helps me be brilliant and prolific, or I will just be unhealthy, not brilliant and not prolific.

I think you need to work on your credit environment, Chris. Cause right now you're in this weird dark hole and uh, and he talked about it with his, like he has a candle, he lights up. Todd has a candle. He lights up, he has the mood. Like what's going on with your creative environment in

That is exactly where I'm at. And so today if I can find enough time, I'm making a video about my creative environment

if you can find the time or are you just going to turn, look into your cushions for the time Chris, are you gonna make the time? What are you gonna [00:32:00] do?

I've got a business coaching session this evening and depending on how that goes and how far over that goes, then I will tackle this project.

So, what you're saying is you have a hard time saying no. And knowing when cut off limits are like our guest, Todd, Todd Henry, where he cut it off, right at the half hour, mark,

that you're hurting

I'm just challenging you to, to follow what our guests just told us.

he's coaching.

Oh, oh, that's a little different.

I practice what I preach, man.

Oh, well, if you can siphon more time out of your, your business coaches, then I'm all for that, but it still brings up a good topic for our audience.

Still brings up a good topic for our audience, which is like, if you are in a situation where you've put, you've put boundaries in place and you don't stick to those boundaries, you are doing what I thought Chris Graham was just doing there, which is giving up time or sacrifice. You're sacrificing yourself in a situation where it's detrimental to your business.

And I'm glad that that wasn't the case. Chris, I'm glad it's completely different than what I thought it was for you. Cause that. And then now it makes more sense in your situation, but how many, how many times in [00:33:00] your life have you bent over backwards for a client that's taking advantage of you? You know, like where they're either purposely or unpurposeful just because they didn't know you were, they were pushing through your boundaries that you had.

You just allowed it to happen, that you lost time. And now you don't have time to work on your business, which for you is creating a video for our audience. It could be something like putting, putting some sort of marketing funnel in place, building a new website. It could be building out a new system, a new standard operating procedure, which we still need to talk about on the episode, on the podcast, Chris, like

Unfortunately, it's usually not humans that steal my time. It's usually not other humans that steal my time. It's me.

it's get your damn.

it's not gear. It's just that I get distracted is that I get in a position where I'm like, ah, I'm stressed. I want to occupy myself with something that's not as stressful.

So I'm going to work on the things that are not the most important things, but are still good things so that I don't feel bad about my.

No, I get there too, man. I'm the exact same way all the time. So I completely understand that. And I think our audience does too. And when we find a solution to that, [00:34:00] but this is real time.

It's seriously. I'm convinced whether it's true or not. That once I have built the mother of all content creation systems for my space over here, that just makes it. That my time management will become a lot easier, but really the truth of it is, is I love building this giant camera, microphone recorder light do Hickey.

And as a result,

it's to your detriment.

it is, I've put so much time into this because it allows me to not think about everything else that's going on in the background of my life. And that is an UN healthy, common thing that a lot of creatives do. And I hope me being open and honest and sharing this. Yeah, time management. I, there are, there are seasons seasons of my life where it's been the easiest thing in the entire world.

And, you know, the systems and automation that I built just made that a piece of cake. And there are times like right now, navigating divorce and law changes and activism and business and [00:35:00] business coaching and mastery, blah, blah, and all the things and our podcast that it, it has been challenging for me too.

To make space and keep it open instead of finding an excuse to do unimportant work, that is not urgent, just so that I feel a little bit better about myself.

You know, we should have an episode on Chris. We should have an episode on simplifying your busy. ' 'cause I think, uh, I think as two people with entrepreneur. when you add complexity to your business, you, you start facing struggles like this. Like you're going through right now, which is that entrepreneurial 80 ADHD is going all over the place.

And so you're working on things that aren't really important right now. And you're ignoring the things that are important because you have too many, too many variables, too many things going on in your life and your business right now. And some of them are avoidable. Not all of them, obviously, but it's definitely worth a topic we're talking about because so many people do the exact same thing in their own worlds.

Let's do that, man. Let's do that for next time.

Yep. All right. So anything else before we wrap this episode up, Chris?

that's just me. I want to play you a little song. [00:36:00] Let's see here.

Prolific profits. This is so stupid. I wish I hadn't did that.

I was like either he's going to put out a banger really quick and just give me the best podcast outro ever, or he's going to flop and you chose option number two.

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